Visualizing and focusing on a specific image during meditation can help enhance your focus, reduce anxiety, and improve your mood levels. Certain images are especially effective in grounding the self and bringing about feelings of calm.
Take the image of a tree, for example. A tree represents grounding but growth. It is fully rooted to the earth yet continues to grow skyward. Below is a meditation to help you keep grounded and calm but feel expansive and full of possibilities.
Sit comfortably on your chair, cushion, or yoga mat. Press your sitting bones down, lengthen your spine up to the sky, and let your eyes fall shut. Breathe in and out through the nose, keeping a natural but steady rhythm of breath.
If there are any thoughts or distractions occupying your mind, simply observe them and gently put them aside until they feel far away from you. When the mind is clearer, begin your meditation.
Start to visualize a tree. This can be any tree—perhaps a towering old oak tree, or perhaps a young and vibrant fruit tree. How does it look like? Imagine every detail of it, from its tangle of roots to its vast fan of branches. Imagine how it smells like, or how it sounds like as wind rustles through its leaves. Focus on this image, until it is very vivid to you.
Slowly but steadily, allow yourself to become the tree. Feel the roots underneath you, as well as the branches and leaves overhead. Feel yourself become its strong, steady trunk. However, continue to focus on the breath—keeping in mind that the tree has a life force of its own, much like your breath is your prana.
As you breathe, feel your roots growing longer, your trunk becoming taller, and your branches spreading out even wider. When you inhale, feel your roots travel deep into the heart of the earth. When you exhale, feel yourself grow even more abundant in fruit and leaves.
Continue to visualize this until you can no longer feel yourself rooting and growing further.
When you are ready to end your meditation, come back into the body. You may wiggle your toes or fingers if that will help you. Reconnect with the sensations you can feel and the sounds you can hear around you. Open your eyes, and harvest these feelings of calm and peace.